Historically Speaking

A distraction, canning and old times

With all the recent government recommendations and recent state of events, I couldn’t help but think of the last time we saw something like this. I can’t remember what natural disaster it was nor can I remember the year, but I do remember seeing Chris Marrou on the news talking about a food shortage. Like I’ve mentioned before, I was raised by women that were around during the Great Depression. My upbringing provided experiences that kids my age weren’t accustomed to. These folks that survived the Great Depression, World War II, The Korean Conflict, etc. are a long lost bunch of battletested individuals. They call them “The Greatest Generation.” Sure, we can claim that they didn’t have the technology we do today and I am not saying that any other generation did not face adversity. The Greatest Generation faced a great enemy and a recession to come out on top and prove why this nation is the greatest in the World.

I recall how many childhood hours I spent watching as every type of local vegetable was placed in jars, sealed and stored. There must have been 50 jars stored away for later necessity. This is the endangered art of canning. Not a lot of people still can today, but it is most definitely an economical way to store food. These women made their own butter, reused bacon grease and stored their money in a dresser drawer (banks were forbidden).

During times when we could not leave the house, the radio was the item that was turned to for any updates and, of course, for entertainment. My father in-law would say how he would religiously listen to his radio every evening for his “comedies.” Come to find out, comedies were considered cartoons or children’s entertainment that was strictly radio broadcast. This was before the television was a common staple in every household. Still today, if you have a music app on your smartphone, most of them will have old radio shows. I recently listened to a few episodes of the Lone Ranger from 1937, The Adventures of Superman and Dragnet. They definitely are not as visually pleasing as modern day children’s action tv, but for children that were accustomed to using their own imagination, these studio acts were gold.

Stay safe and healthy Atascosa County. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page as we will be posting stories and other modern day distractions from the daily news.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING is written by Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman, Martin Gonzales, on behalf of the Atascosa County Historical Commission. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

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